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And on the first day … he sat on a soft seat

HANGZHOU, Zhejiang — I hesitated shutting the door to my apartment today, because I knew I wouldn’t be opening it again until October — at the earliest. All the constants, all the comforts of my less-foreign-every-day existence in Shanghai were locked inside. I couldn’t hesitate for long, however. I was already behind schedule. With the months of build up — and delays — this trip had, you would think if anything I would be too prepared. No, not me. I was running around at the last minute looking for bottles of hand sanitizer and spools of dental floss, things not easily found in the wilds of China, or some neighborhoods in Shanghai for that matter.

But I’m not roughing it … yet. Far from it, actually. Sure, I broke a sweat walking from my apartment to the metro station, past the gourmet food shop, past the Starbucks. But when it’s mid-July in Shanghai, you break a sweat walking anywhere — even if you don’t have all of your belongings for the next four months strapped to your back.

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07.20.2004, 1:34 AM · The Trip, Zhejiang · Comments (2)

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Shanghai Diaries is a website about Shanghai, China ... and lots of other stuff. Voted Best Mainland China Blog in the 2004 Asia Blog Awards.

Editor: Dan Washburn

Related: Shanghaiist and Mudan Boutique

Dan is a freelance writer living in Shanghai. More about Dan.

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